As he looked at He Zhou, who was still sitting on the edge of the bed, Qiu Yanzhi didn’t know whether to stay or leave.
A thousand thoughts tumbled through his mind.
When did He Zhou find out?
...How many of my lies did he uncover??
When he thought of how many times He Zhou had just watched him embarrass himself by lying, Qiu Yanzhi deflated like a punctured balloon. He no longer had an ounce of strength in his body.
He Zhou looked at Qiu Yanzhi, who was standing there with a pale face. He shifted his gaze to the floor and sighed, as if he had finally decided to meet a certain someone halfway.
He stood up and approached the medical kit, retrieving a sterile dressing for Qiu Yanzhi.
"Qiu Yanzhi, if you have something you can’t tell me, I would rather you stay silent than lie.”
He Zhou stood in front of Qiu Yanzhi. He tore the packaging off the dressing and carefully applied it to the wound on the other’s neck. Qiu Yanzhi unconsciously recoiled from his touch.
Then he heard the man above his head whisper.
"Anything is better than lying to me again."
Qiu Yanzhi's eyelashes fluttered. He lowered his head with tightly pursed lips.
"Are you going back to your school?" He Zhou asked.
Qiu Yanzhi nodded.
He Zhou picked up his jacket from the coat rack. "I'll take you there."
Qiu Yanzhi shook his head. "No need, I can go back by myself."
He Zhou opened the door. "It's not easy to hail a taxi around here."
In the end, Qiu Yanzhi got into He Zhou's car, but the two of them didn’t speak a single word the entire time.
Zhang Yuxuan's condo was near the university. When Qiu Yanzhi ran from there to the school last night, he felt like an eternity had passed.
However, it seemed like he barely blinked before He Zhou was pulling up to the school’s entrance.
Qiu Yanzhi looked down and began to unbuckle his seat belt.
He Zhou suddenly spoke.
"Don't worry about our marriage, I won’t force you anymore. I’ll also explain everything to your father.”
Qiu Yanzhi’s hands paused. He said quietly: "Thank you."
With that, he opened the car door and got out.
Before he could take even two steps, Qiu Yanzhi heard someone calling out to him.
"Senior!" It was Ye Mingxu.
When he saw Qiu Yanzhi looking around for who had called him, he immediately left the students beside him and ran towards Qiu Yanzhi.
"You suddenly ran out last night, did something happen?" Ye Mingxu looked worried.
Qiu Yanzhi offered a perfunctory explanation. "A person I know was in an accident, but it's been taken care of. It’s nothing serious."
Ye Mingxu breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. "That's good to hear."
"Senior, have you eaten yet?"
"No, not yet."
"Then shall we go get something to eat?"
"Senior, a new shop has opened on near the school on Longfeng Street. One of my classmates said the pasta there is super delicious! I’m sure you'll love it!" Ye Mingxu said as he tugged Qiu Yanzhi's wrist.
After a few steps, he moved his hand down a little more and tentatively took Qiu Yanzhi's hand. His heart was beating fast and his ears were flushed.
He Zhou coldly put out his cigarette in his hand. He glared with killing intent at the two bastards holding hands nearby.
Two minutes ago, he had pretended to be open minded by saying he was okay with annulling their marriage.
Two minutes later, He Zhou was ready to gnash his teeth into powder.
Remember all that stuff he said about giving Qiu Yanzhi the freedom to choose and not forcing him? Yeah, no. He Zhou knew very well that he has always been a jealous and narrow minded person. Everything before was just an act!!
--When he saw Qiu Yanzhi holding hands with that man, he wanted more than anything to go up and rip their hands apart!
However, He Zhou saw Qiu Yanzhi casually break away from Ye Mingxu’s hand a second later. Then he took out his phone and absentmindedly glanced at it while continuing to smile and talk with Ye Mingxu.
They walked side by side a while longer before Qiu Yanzhi suddenly snuck a glance behind him. He just happened to meet He Zhou's eyes.
Qiu Yanzhi immediately turned his head away and walked faster like he had a guilty conscience. He always kept a short distance from Ye Mingxu.
Suddenly, He Zhou felt a tiny bit better.
He Zhou opened the door and got out of the car, glancing down at his wristwatch.
En, it was indeed time to eat something.
The street in front of the school was bustling with students and hawkers.
Qiu Yanzhi didn’t relax until he and Ye Mingxu had squeezed through several crowds and reached the edges of the food stands, until he was sure He Zhou couldn’t see them anymore.
Qiu Yanzhi looked up at the clean-looking restaurant in front of him. “Is this the restaurant you were talking about?"
"Yes, this is the one." After following him here, Ye Mingxu was a bit out of breath, "Senior, why were you walking so fast?"
Qiu Yanzhi walked inside, saying, "I was scared because I saw a big black dog on the way."
"What big black dog? How come I didn't see it..." said Ye Mingxu as he turned to have a look. He choked on the rest of his words immediately.
Because he saw a tall man in a black trench coat standing right behind him. Not only was he dressed completely in black, even the man’s expression looked dark.
...Also, this man seemed inexplicably familiar, as if Ye Mingxu had seen him somewhere before.
Qiu Yanzhi noticed how Ye Mingxu suddenly stopped talking. He turned around too to see if there was something strange behind them.
His heart nearly skipped a beat, and all his hair stood on end.
--When did He Zhou start following him?!
He Zhou expressionlessly extended a hand towards him, pretending to not know who Qiu Yanzhi was. "What a coincidence."
...President He, you’re supposed to be an important CEO. What kind of coincidence would bring you to the farthest restaurant on the street in front of our school??
Qiu Yanzhi had no idea what this guy was planning. He doubtfully grasped He Zhou’s hand and shook it.
"...Yes, what a coincidence."
He Zhou gave him a meaningful look. It was quite some time before he let go of Qiu Yanzhi’s hand. He looked around the restaurant and said, “Since we somehow ended up at the same store, why don’t we share a table?”
Ye Mingxu frowned. He was about to decline, but He Zhou had already walked in and waved over the manager.
“Is there a table for three available?”
Ye Mingxu: "Let’s not..."
“Aiya! You're just in time! There’s only one table left for a group of three. I doubt it would’ve stayed empty much longer. Come, come. Follow me inside…”
The enthusiastic manager ushered the three of them inside, so Ye Mingxu had to swallow his words.
Strangely, the more Ye Mingxu studied He Zhou’s back, the more he felt like he had seen it before.
When the noodles were served, everyone was staring at their food. Except for He Zhou, he only had eyes for Qiu Yanzhi. His gaze was so obviously intense that only the blind wouldn’t find it suspicious.
It was at this point that Ye Mingxu suddenly remembered who this person was.
--Wasn't this President He, who sat at their table two days ago when he went to eat barbecue with Senior and Yuxuan-ge?!
If he remembered correctly, this person even got into an argument with Senior outside afterwards.
Although Ye Mingxu didn't see what happened, the strange atmosphere between the two and the look in President He’s eyes made an impression on him. His intuition told him that Senior’s torn dress definitely had something to do with this man.
As soon as he reached this conclusion, Ye Mingxu immediately became wary.
Now, in his eyes, the dignified and well-dressed President He had turned into a tyrannical and wicked man with a history of sexually harassing his senior!
He must have fallen in love with his senior at first sight! Poor Senior, he must’ve been tormented in every way possible since then. This man must’ve used his power and influence to toy with Senior, who had no choice but to comply for the sake of his sick mother and young brother.
Every month, on the night of the full moon, Senior must’ve been forced to wear a black dress and walk into that demon’s room with a pallid expression...
Ye Mingxu drained of all colour as he headed down that train of thought.
“Wait, no. Don’t overthink it.” He suddenly shook his head.
Senior didn't have a seriously ill mother or a younger brother! Even if he did, Ye Mingxu would do everything he could to support Senior's family!!!
His gaze became determined.
Ye Mingxu looked at He Zhou like he was the enemy of all mankind.
He was busy thinking about what he could say or do to rescue his senior from the grasp of this man surnamed He.
Just as he was about to open his mouth, Qiu Yanzhi called out to Ye Mingxu.
Ye Mingxu immediately perked up. He could barely resist the urge to shoot He Zhou a smug smirk.
See? Even though we’re all sitting together, Senior only wants to talk with me!
"How's Zhang Yuxuan doing now?" Qiu Yanzhi asked.
Qiu Yanzhi found this situation to be pretty awkward, since he was sitting together with his past and current capture targets. He intentionally found something to talk about.
Ye Mingxu replied, "Yuxuan-ge was so drunk yesterday… He hadn’t woken up by the time I left this morning, so he’s probably still asleep?"
Qiu Yanzhi sighed.
Why did Zhang Yuxuan have to cry his heart out for that senior of his in both rounds?
His senior obviously preferred sharing his husband with a mistress over sparing a glance for Zhang Yuxuan.
Qiu Yanzhi stirred his noodles with his fork. Then he looked up at Ye Mingxu. "Ye Mingxu, are your brother and your sister-in-law really in love?"
"Of course. I heard my brother fell for my sister-in-law at first sight."
"Then is your brother...good to your sister-in-law? How do they usually treat each other?"
"He’s quite good to him. Um, I don’t know how they usually treat each other since I live in the dorms most of the time. My brother is also often busy with work and rarely goes home. Sometimes, I only get to see him less than once a month.”
"Then your sister-in-law..."
Ye Mingxu looked across the table at the taciturn He Zhou. He was somewhat anxious.
...How come Senior always asked him about other people?? First it was Zhang Yuxuan and now it was his sister-in-law...
It almost seemed like they weren’t close at all.
Like they didn’t have anything to talk about other than the people in their lives.
Ye Mingxu interrupted Qiu Yanzhi. He made sure to bring up something private that He Zhou would never know about.
"Senior, I actually couldn't sleep last night because I was so worried about you. The dorms were already closed at that hour, so where did you go? Did you stay with your friend who was in an accident all night?”
Qiu Yanzhi stiffened.
Across the table, He Zhou’s fork clinked against his plate. Qiu Yanzhi wasn’t sure if it was intentional.
"...En." Qiu Yanzhi said, almost in a whisper, "It was late when I finished taking care of things...so I slept over at that friend's house."
"Have I met this friend of yours before?” Ye Mingxu glanced at He Zhou before deliberately saying to Qiu Yanzhi, "Senior, I want to get to know more of your friends in the future. After all, we’ll be in a very intimate relationship from now on.”
A very intimate relationship?
What kind of intimate relationship?
More like the kind in your dreams!!
Heh, where did this little brat come from? Is he trying to make me jealous by deliberately showing off in front of me?
He Zhou scoffed in his heart.
Hmph, how childish!
Do you really think I would fall for that?
Qiu Yanzhi buried his head in his hands and mumbled a response.
He Zhou put down his fork. It clinked crisply against his plate.
Qiu Yanzhi's heart jolted at the sound.
Then he heard He Zhou chuckle and say to Ye Mingxu, "Nice to meet you, I’m He Zhou.”
Ye Mingxu froze for a moment, then frowned, "...What."
He Zhou looked at Qiu Yanzhi before continuing, "Didn't you say you wanted to meet Yanyan's friends? I'm the friend who was in an accident last night."
Ye Mingxu blinked dumbly.
"He was really tired last night, but don’t worry. He had a very good night’s sleep at my house.”
Ye Mingxu's face drained of all blood. It was a long time before he spoke again.
"...I, I’m in the same dorm as Senior! We sleep in the same room everyday! I-I know Senior’s the kind of person who can sleep soundly anywhere..."
He Zhou looked up at him, seemingly a bit confused. “Didn't you just move in two days ago? Besides, I heard that Qiu Yanzhi stayed at his own house on the first day you moved in, and he clearly stayed with me yesterday. When did you start sleeping in the same dorm with him everyday? In your dreams?"
Ye Mingxu's face was alternating between green and white.
He Zhou paused for a moment, seeming to suddenly realize something. “Now that I think about it, Yanyan, haven’t I been the first person you saw after waking up, two days in a row?”
“It’s to be expected this morning, since we slept on the same bed. But yesterday morning was quite a surprise. I didn’t expect to run into you when I went to discuss the wedding with your father."
Ye Mingxu's fork fell onto his food.
Qiu Yanzhi's hand with the pepper shaker shook like he had Parkinson's.
He’s seen a lot of comments from girls cursing out white lotus and green tea bitches on forums.
He had never quite understood what those people were like. He understood them as much as he did unicorns.
But now, as he looked at Mr. He's innocent expression…
He felt like there was a blooming white lotus and a cup of high-grade green tea with a refreshing fragrance in front of him.